Even though the Oscars are still several months away there is already plenty of buzz in the air regarding potential nominations and wins. Quite incredible considering there hasn’t even been a Holocaust movie, a Meryl Streep vehicle or a biopic about a reformed musician. Okay, fine – there are have been some quality releases this year; The Social Network, Easy A, Blue Valentine, The Illusionist. But for every good movie there are an almost infinite number of terrible films to reset the balance; When In Rome, Shank, Dinner For Schmucks…as intrepid film critics we’ve sat through countless hours of dross. Indeed some were so poor, we felt they deserved extra recognition…
The Contenders: Pocahontas, Dances With Wolves, Fern Gully, Captain Planet, An Inconvenient Truth, The Smurfs
James Cameron harping on about Piranha 3D diminishing the creativity of cinema was possibly the most ironic statement of the year given that his 12 year magnum opus appeared to be several other films held together with masking tape and spit.
Avatar has something in common with all of the above, whether its Dances With Wolves’ flagrant abuse of the Mighty Whitey trope, Fern Gully’s plot about a humanity ravaging the forests only to be stopped by faeries or Captain Planet’s message about the spirit of nature being stronger than humanity’s destructive urges. Throw in a pinch of moral lecturing from an Inconvenient Truth and stir liberally and you have your very own plagiarism stew.
And the winner is:
Pocahontas: Let’s face it: Avatar is almost a scene by scene remake as proven here.
As part of Hollywood’s desperate bid to crush piracy it has now become standard practice to retrofit films to facilitate 3D screenings which has led to a raft of headache inducing visual effects.
However, a recent phenomenon, as a result of this technique, are films where the 3D has so little effect you barely notice it at all which begs the question: why do it in the first place? The answer is money of course, so to honour this cynical exercise we’ve nominated five films for the title of The Most Unnecessary 3D Movie Of The Year.
Apart from sporting one of the lamest plots of the year, The Last Airbender was also straddled with an ugly 3D retrofit which made half of the film look out of focus. By the time the ‘airbending’ was underway most of the audience were rubbing their eyes as they fumbled in the dark attempting to load their pistols to commit suicide. A similar fate also befell Alice In Wonderland which gained absolutely nothing from its re-formatting. Two strong candidates for this year’s award. Read more
Starring Denzel Washington and Chris Pine as a pair of blokes struggling to stop a runaway train and its toxic cargo wiping out a town of relatively innocnet people, Unstoppable is based on a true story and directed by the legendary Tony Scott, so we’re expecting great things. Let’s hope the film’s title has ruined the ending..
Unstoppable is released on Friday 24th November
For once, it’s not the usual calvalcade of slasher remakes as Gremlins’ Joe Dante will be helming a team that looks like the horror Justice League in order to make Paris, I’ll Kill You.
In addition to Dante’s directing prowess, he’ll be collaborating with [Rec]’s Paco Plaza, Splice’s Vincenzo Natali, The Midnight Meat Train’s Ryuhei Kitamura, Triangle’s Christopher Smith, A L’Interieur’s co-directing team Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo, and uh…Xavier Gens, who made Hitman (clearly the team’s Ma’ti).
Giving the long list of creative talent here, it’s no surprise that the film will be split into several short stories, each depicting a different dark facet of the most romantic city in the world. As it’s still at early stage, there are no plot details to reveal. It’s still looking for financing which the producers are hoping to pick up once its pitched to buyers at next week’s American Film Market.
Douglas’s co-star Matt Damon has confirmed in Entertainment Weekly that the star is in good spirits and ready to start filming the biopic which is being directed by Steven Soderbergh.
Douglas will play Liberace and Damon will star as the extravagant pianist’s companion Scott Thorson who infamously sued for $113 million in palimony in 1982.
Damon said: “[I'm] planning on doing Liberace in the summer with Michael.”
He added: “I’ve talked to Michael and everything’s on schedule for him, which is great. So we’ve all cleared our schedules and are all really excited about that happening.”
When a press screening official tells you that reviews are embargoed until the day of release, it’s usually an indication that what you’re about to see is probably fairly drab. On this occasion, Burke & Hare was no exception – dreary, monotonous and not very funny – you can see why PR didn’t want journalists drumming up bad press in the build up to its release.
The real-life story of William Burke (Simon Pegg) and William Hare (Andy Serkis) reads like an Ealing film as scripted by Edgar Allan Poe. Chancing upon a profitable business supplying doctors with the recently deceased for anatomical dissection, they devise a scheme whereby they murder the local populace so as to secure a steady income stream. Of course, murder always leaves a trail and, as increasing demand from the medical profession causes the body count to rocket, the local militia soon come knocking on their door. Read more
Hold tight Muggles, we have some brand new Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows material for you. This special featurette contains brand new footage, cast interviews and absolutely no 3D.
Everyone can end their speculation on how old Cap is going to presented in the first Avengers movie as Entertainment Weekly has the first shot of hm on the front cover of their next issue.
The costume is almost identical to the concept art – the red, white and blue stripes with Cap’s distinctive white star proudly emblazoned on the chest accessorised with brown straps which gives the whole ensemble a grittier and more believable feel (Fashion Week journalists watch your backs, I’ve got this covered).
Interestingly Cap’s vibranium shield appears to have a few scratches in it. Could this mean that it’s not as indestructable as its comic book counterpart?
Evans himself is sporting a sandy brown side parting which will no doubt excentuate the traditional setting.. No shots of the winged cowl yet, so that’s still to come.
Overall it’s a much more realistic depiction of what a real Captain America might look like. After all, yellow spandex looks good on Wolverine in the comics but on screen, villains would primarily be defeated by bouts of spontaneous laughter rather than skewered by Logan’s razor-sharp claws. And Cap is no exception, you’d wet yourself if you saw someone dressed like that coming for you, and not out of fear.
More links to pictures when they come in but it looks like Joe Johnston’s got the right idea. Carry on citizen.
Exactly which Disney movies he’ll be pillaging for the storylines remains to be seen and there’s still no word on whether Captain Planet and the Planeteers might make an appearance but we’ll keep you posted with more details as we get them.
Paul Haggis just loves prisons apparently. Fresh from directing the soon-to-be-released The Next Three Days, news has reached us via Deadline that he’s going to be producing and possbily directed an English version of the Spanish thriller Celda 211.
The English version, imaginatively titled Cell 211, will see a new prison guard arriving for duty a day early in order to impress his bosses, only to be knocked unconcious by a prison riot.
Waking up in the titular Cell 211, he decides that the best way to get out alive is to pretend to be a prisoner and try to stop the rioting from the inside. It’s being touted as Die Hard in a prison but with extra levels of intrigue. Yippie-ki-yay indeed.
Haggis is just producing and writing the script, but who knows it could turn out to be something he might want to direct in which case he’d have to make room after Equalizer which he’s currently working on.
No, Wesley Snipes’ next film isn’t an ode to S&M fetishism or a remake of Kidergarten Cop, it’s actually a new martial arts comedy with a kick ass cast which so far includes Chuck Norris, Sonny Chiba, Samo Hung, Tony Jaa, Ron Van Clief, UFC superstar Anderson Silva, Lee Moseley and martial arts legend Dan Inosanto.
Mostly old blood here though – could this be a martial arts themed comedy Expendables? (if so Van Damme and Seagal are notably absent).
Despite there being no word of a director attached, the film is scheduled to start shooting shortly for a planned 2011 release, at least in Latin America where the production company has a distribution deal set up. Curiouser and curiouser. We’ll keep an eye on this and let you know of any difficulties but would an ideal plot for a sequel to the Expendables see Snipes trying to escape from prison?